FORM Dance Projects is a dynamic hub for Australian contemporary dance, based in Parramatta, Western Sydney. Since 2011, FORM has grown into one of Australia’s leading dance presenters.
FORM’s program spans five key areas – presentation, producing, education, community engagement and audience development. Its aim is to support Australian choreographers in all stages of their career, develop artists’ national and international profiles and provide artists with valuable professional development opportunities. FORM also engages with Western Sydney communities, including young people and cultural performers, in meaningful ways to connect with local artists and audiences.
FORM’s signature program is the long-running presentation series Dance Bites. It is acclaimed for its decidedly eclectic curation, showcasing a wide range of choreographers working across diverse styles – from the innovative and experimental to the popular and accessible. The works of experienced, more established artists are frequently placed alongside those of promising newcomers. Presented artists in recent years include Frances Rings, Narelle Benjamin, The Tap Pack, Dance Makers Collective and Raghav Handa.
Another recent successful program initiative is the commissioning of indigenous choreographer Vicki Van Hout as FORM’s blogger to contribute reputable, critical discourse around contemporary dance. Van Hout’s blog has a large, dedicated and avid on-line following and is part of FORM’s innovative digital strategy commissioning digital dance content.
In recent years, FORM’s program has encompassed producing genre-defying large scale productions with the aim to develop audiences for contemporary dance. The first production was PUNCTURE – a multi-disciplinary creation straddling contemporary dance, physical theatre and choral music. Initiated by FORM and co-produced with Legs On The Wall and VOX, Sydney Phiharmonia Choirs, this piece explored the evolution of social dancing. PUNCTURE premiered in the 2015 Sydney Festival, playing to sold-out houses and receiving significant critical acclaim.
Buoyed by this success, FORM has commissioned choreographer Martin del Amo – widely considered to be one of the country’s most exciting and innovative independent dance artists – to create CHAMPIONS, a new cross-sector collaboration exploring the similarities and differences between athletic and artist performance, to be presented as part of Sydney Festival 2017 at Carriageworks.
Another highlight of FORM’s program is its Choreographic Workshop series. Teachers and students continue to acknowledge the value of this workshop for young Western Sydney HSC Dance students to develop their choreographic skills and technique under the wing of companies such as Sydney Dance Company and Shaun Parker & Company artists.
Sharp Short Dance, FORM’s dance festival for young aspiring choreographers and dancers, continues to grow and showcase the next generation of dancers, many of whom are awarded secondments with leading dance companies such as Sydney Dance Company, Bangarra Dance Theatre and the Dream Dance Company.
In addition, FORM Dance Projects is a key facilitator of CPAN, the Cultural Performing Arts Network, initiated in 2009 in partnership with Fairfield Council and Community First Step. CPAN represents over 850 community cultural performers in Western Sydney.
Since its inception in 2001, as Western Sydney Dance Action, the organisation has established strong networks with local and state government, education and community based sectors, and philanthropists and foundations. The Board is comprised of representatives from government, business and the arts.
FORM partners with leading arts organisations such as Riverside, Sydney Festival, the ACO and national and international independent producers. As a small-medium, not-for-profit, arts organisation FORM makes a significant contribution to the cultural vibrancy of the local Parramatta LGA and the Australian dance sector.